NSW Parent Died - Who Is Responsible For Funeral Expenses?

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16 September 2014
My daughter-in-law lost her mother today. She has not had any contact with her for several years. Further more she had a falling out with her and told her she felt that she did not exist and told her not to list her as next of kin. We believe the mother did not have a will. The mother lives in NSW with her boyfriend. Her parents are still alive and living in NSW. My daughter-in-law, son and children live in SA. \

Who would be responsible for paying the funeral expenses?


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
Tricky one and condolences to your daughter-in-law. This is perhaps more moral-based than law-based, but I would suggest that the mother's boyfriend (assuming they were de facto) would be responsible for funeral costs because he would be considered next of kin.


If your daughter in law's mother died intestate the rules of intestacy as set out in the Succession Act (NSW) will determine how her estate is distributed. Section 103 of that act states that all funeral, administration expenses and liabilities must be paid before any payments are made out of the estate to debtors or beneficiaries.

Therefore, if there is enough in her estate to cover the funeral and administration expenses, none of the family should have to contribute.
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Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Further to what Sophea said, if the daughter in law's mother left a Will, the Executor named in the Will is responsible for arranging to pay the funeral expenses out of any specific asset as specified in the Will, or where the Will is silent, out of the residual estate. If she died intestate, then the court will need to appoint an Administrator, who acts like an executor, and will manage payment of funeral expenses.

If funeral expenses are due immediately or before an administrator can be named, any family member may pay and seek indemnification from the estate through either the Executor of the Administrator.